Although I hate to admit it, I go through these unwanted phases sometimes when I get kind of wrapped up in myself and don’t want to…share. I get kind of quiet, I don’t want to go out of my way; I just want to come straight home after work and vegetate. Once I’m in one of these modes, I force myself to snap out of it, and I do – but it’s not easy.
One of the things that falls by the wayside when I go into this mode is visiting my grandmas. With an s. Plural, because I’m lucky enough to still have these two amazing women in my life. I let myself get lazy, despite the fact that I’m no fool. Time ticks on, and everyone’s days are numbered. During the first week of January, I really and truly came to the haunting realization that my grandmothers’ time with me here on earth is quite limited. More limited that I’d like to admit. On that day, I promised myself that I would make a much stronger effort to visit and call both of my grandmothers a lot more often. Abuela Pachy, my dad’s mom, was in West Palm Beach at the time staying with my aunt Lissette. I called her and we chatted for over an hour. Abuela Paca, my mom’s mom, was home as she always is. I drove to Palacio de los Jugos, bought chicharrones de puerco, and then went to a Cuban bakery and bought señoritas blancas, her favorite dessert. I felt so happy as I drove to her house. I was beaming with joy when I rang the doorbell and said, “Te tengo una sorpresa!” Just thinking about it makes me teary.
Today, I went to the funeral of a woman who was only 68. She was the grandmother of a little girl whom I tutored. The little girl, who’s now in sixth grade, approached her grandmother’s casket, and instantly started crying. I could tell she was trying so hard to be brave. But she just couldn’t hold it in. Her grandmother used to pick her up from school every day and drop her off at home where I would be waiting for our tutoring session. It was heartbreaking to see her pain. She took a seat in the armchair closest to her grandmother and composed herself.
Even though her time with her grandmother was brief, I know that she will always hold on to the memories; to the warm afternoons where she would climb into her grandmother’s car and feel that familiar feeling of comfort — the feeling only una abuela can provide.
From my own grandmothers I have learned so much. I learned about the beauty of my faith, and about the devotion one can feel to God. I learned to pray to Mary, to ask for help when I need it. When I get married, because of my grandmothers, I will know undying devotion to my husband.
Both of my grandmothers were wonderful wives to my grandfathers up to their dying days. A countless number of times, my grandmothers spent days on end in hospitals, keeping vigil by their husbands’ bedsides.
You may be wondering what this all has to do with wearing heels. It is my belief that wearing heels doesn’t simply add to your fabulosity or make you feel more confident. Wearing heels, the way I see it, is about being your best. Being my best, personally, involves being present in the lives of my grandmothers. Both of these women make me stronger, they make me better; they make me me.